The images on the TV flashed with the sound muted; and half a bottle of wine sat unfinished on the coffee table. He was alone – again – on a Friday night; and try as hard as he might, he couldn’t stop himself from glancing at the pictures hanging on the walls around him. The pictures of them – together and happy. He should have taken them down ages ago, but he could never bring himself to complete the task. So, the photographs remained plastered across his walls as a constant reminder of the way that it was, and the way it could have been. Maybe…if Jongdae had simply walked out of his life, alive and well, the brunet would have had an easier time getting over the heartbreak; but Jongdae never made things easy. No, he had left Baekhyun with a hole so big in his heart that nothing could ever be done to fill it again. The hurt from his departure dug so deeply, so unendingly, so incessantly, that Baekhyun was unsure if he would ever live to see the day he would feel normal again. It buried itself deep into his soul, grasping onto the shattered pieces of his heart, and refused to let go. With every breath that he took, with every beat of his broken heart, Baekhyun was reminded of him.
His once lover.
The screen shook, indicating the trembling of the cameraman, before spanning on a pale, smiling face.
His voice was soft; filled with weakness and pain.
Kim Jongdae smiled again as he leaned forward, adjusting the camera on the stand in front of him – presumably made out a few household objects he’d managed to scavenge together. Jongdae had always been the crafty one; always the handy one.
He took a deep breath and leaned back, and then inhaled again as if to calm his nerves.
“When you see this, I probably won’t be around anymore,” he began, his voice unstable. “At times like this…I remember all of the conversations we had; all of the good times we shared. We had dreams. Dreams of starting a family together. Oh! And that you would wake me up with breakfast in bed every morning,” Jongdae chuckled softly to himself as he reminisced the details, “don’t think I forgot that! We had so many plans for our future, and…” He paused, swallowing the lump in his throat, “and I’m sorry that I won’t be able to fulfill any of those with you.”
Baekhyun felt his tears betraying him as he watched Jongdae struggle with his words. The sharp pang in his chest was the only thing reminding him that he was alive; that he hadn’t also died the day Jongdae left him. He glanced back at the screen, vision teary, as Jongdae started speaking again.
“Remember, Baek? Remember when I asked you to be my boyfriend?” There was a brightness in his eyes as he talked about this particular memory, and he leaned himself forward, scooting to the edge of his seat. “I asked you to promise me that you would smile every day, because you have the most gorgeous smile I’ve ever seen in my life. And you agreed! Do you remember?”
Baekhyun found himself nodding, even though he knew Jongdae could not see him. His hand came up to clutch at his chest, grasping at his sweater, desperately trying to tear his heart out of its cavity.
“I love your smile so much, Baek. I love the way your mouth forms that adorable rectangle every time you’re happy. I love how your eyes light up, and crescent. I love the sound of your laugh.”
Baekhyun choked on something between a sob and a laugh as he watched Jongdae’s face light up. It was funny…because that was exactly what Baekhyun loved – no, loves – about Jongdae. His smile.
“Even though I’m not there anymore, you have to keep your promise, okay? You can’t go back on your word, you hear me? Or else I’ll come back and haunt you!” Jongdae laughed as if trying to lighten the mood briefly, and then became serious again. “Are you smiling now, Baekhyun? You better be… I need you to know that no matter what, I don’t regret anything, okay?”
Baekhyun gasped, bring a hand up to cover his mouth as the red droplets dripped from Jongdae’s nose, making their way down towards his mouth, and then further still down his chin.
“I’m so happy that we were able to meet; that I was able to have someone like you in my life. I’ve cherished every moment we’ve spent together. Every minute. Every second. You gave me hope again, even if you didn’t know it. You gave me back the will to live; and for that…I thank you.” Jongdae paused to wipe the blood with his shirtsleeve. “Thank you, Byun Baekhyun. For everything you’ve done to make my life worth living again. For being the biggest positive influence. For becoming the one person I cherished most in my entire life. I love you, Byun Baekhyun.”
The video ended, but still, Baekhyun did not move. He couldn’t move. His mind was stuck on the last image of Jongdae, smiling at the camera as he professed his last words of devotion.
I love you.
The words were not new to Baekhyun; but for some reason, hearing them again from the man he loved, when he was so close to death, stirred up feelings in Baekhyun he never knew existed. They wrapped themselves around him, grasping at his heartstrings; ceasing his breathing.
His eyes clouded over with unshed tears as he smiled at the blank screen in front of him.
“I love you too, Kim Jongdae.”
‘I miss you so much.’